Centipede

Homeowner Maintenance Guide

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1.5–2 inches

1 inch per week total

Preventative Fungicide & Insecticide

Seasonal Maintenance Guides for your Centipede

SPRING

  • Keep centipede mowed between 1.5 and 2 inches. Mowing below 1.5 inches will stress your centipede, which may not recover; don’t do it.
  • Apply pre-emergent herbicide. This will cut down on summer weeds.
  • Don’t overwater. Centipede needs about one inch of water a week considering rainfall.
  • Apply fungicide if needed. If you have had a fungus or disease in your centipede in the past or have quite a bit of shade in the yard,  apply a systemic fungicide to prevent future outbreaks.
  • Centipede does not handle over-fertilization with nitrogen very well; don’t do it.

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SUMMER

  • When mowing, never remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade. If you remove more than that, you will stress the grass and it may go brown for a short time. If you are returning from vacation, you may have to mow multiple times to get the grass back to the desired height. Wait about three to five days between each mowing. Again, don’t mow below 1.5 inches.
  • Do not overwater the grass. Centipede only needs about one inch of water weekly. Water for longer periods of time, less frequently, and in the early morning hours. Take rainfall into consideration.
  • Centipede does not handle over-fertilization with nitrogen very well; don’t do it.

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FALL

  • Apply fungicide. This will help the grass enter colder months in healthier condition. If you have had fungus before, you may need multiple applications in affected areas.
  • Treat with broad-spectrum insecticide if needed. If you use a granular variety, water the lawn immediately after application to help soil absorption.
  • During the fall, mowing will occur less often—keeping your centipede slightly higher will encourage deeper root growth for the winter.
  • Water less as temperatures drop—too much water will lead to disease.
  • If you haven’t had past problems with winter weeds, you can forgo herbicide in the fall. If you do get winter weeds, apply a pre-emergent herbicide for prevention.
  • Centipede does not handle over-fertilization with nitrogen very well; don’t do it.

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Centipede Maintenance Tips

Soil Management

  • Soil test every two years.
  • Amend soil to maintain pH between 6.0 and 7.0
  • Know your soil type!

Mowing

  • Sharpen blades every spring.
  • Keep mowed between 1.5 to 2 inches.
  • Don’t cut of more than 1/3 the blade.

Irrigation

  • Don’t Overwater
  • Water less in cooler fall months
  • About 1 inch a week total irrigation spring & summer
  • Water deeply, frequently, and in early AM

Weed Control

  • Pre-emergents prevent weeds from germinating
  • Post-emergents kill weeds after they germinate
  • A thick, lush lawn is the best deterrent to weeds

Disease Control

  • Overly wet grass + shade = fungus problems
  • Apply systemic fungicide to prevent fungus outbreaks
  • Use multiple fungicide applications to treat affected areas

Insect Control

  • Use a broad spectrum insecticide that controls chinch bugs
  • For a once-a-year treatment, July & August are good months
  • Drought-stressed lawns are more susceptible to chinch bug injury
  • If using a granular insecticide, water in after application

A WORD OF CAUTION FOR NEWLY SODDED LAWNS

A pre-emergent contains a chemical that prevents a weed from putting down roots. Because it is a root inhibitor, it can also negatively affect your new lawn, which is trying to establish itself by putting down roots. If you successfully killed and removed your old lawn, including all the weeds in it, your newly sodded lawn should have relatively few weeds. It is suggested that you hand pick weeds out of your newly sodded lawn for the first season.

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